Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, spoke with members of the New Orleans media Wednesday…discussed the teams makeshift plans at the beginning, before he was named head coach, the youth movement that has followed and why the team inserted Josh Freeman into the starting lineup.
Q: Did you guys install Josh Freeman as the starting quarterback because it’s part of a rebuilding effort or because you thought he gave you guys the best chance to win right away.
A: He gives us the best chance to win. We knew that. It was his time. It was time. We went through Byron Leftwich. We didn’t get a win. Byron Leftwich did a great job for us when he was out there. There were some other factors involved and then also we went to Josh Johnson. Josh gave us a chance to win at the time. Our offensive line was a little banged up and he gave us a chance to move around with his feet. Now we’re back up to full strength with our o-line and we have those guys out there and with Josh Johnson in the pocket, there would be some balls on the field. We’ve had a little bit more success on offense, especially in the fourth quarter with the young man out there. He’s doing a good job. There are going to be some growing pains. We have to be patient. We have to go through all that with him.
Q: Did his insertion add an element and something for the team to get excited about?
A: I wouldn’t really use any ploys. It’s Josh Freeman’s team. Once we drafted him in the first round, we knew that would be the case. It was just time to unleash him and let him learn how to play this game. It was a great opportunity to get him out there to go against five games in his division that has traditionally been a great one, throughout the whole process.
Q: Can you use the word rebuilding and not offend fans?
A: I really haven’t used the word rebuilding. We had a makeshift deal in the beginning here. We had a wholesale wipeout, went to a youth movement. We really wanted to win. We wanted to come out and win every week. We really felt like we could still go win against some quality and good teams like we did against Green Bay. We have to come up with those kinds of efforts every week and we put ourselves in a position last week against Miami to win. Unfortunately it didn’t come out that way. We’ll come out and give our best effort against a really good New Orleans Saints team.
So finally the truth seems to be coming out, Morris tells everyone that in the beginning, before he took over as the teams head coach, the Bucs were nothing more then one huge patch job after another, with no clear direction under the guidance of Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen. Presumably the makeshift band aid brigade act was just too much for the Glazer’s to continue to stomach and more then likely why it ultimately took so long after the season ended for them to fire both Gruden and Allen.
Which would coincide with the meeting that took place between the parties a few weeks after the season concluded with the main topic of discussion being the teams future and how Gruden and Allen were going to go about reconstructing the team for the long haul and how it was going to be handled that ultimately got Gruden and Allen the boot in the end.